Do knitting spools look familiar? If so, it is likely that you had one as a child. You may have had a wooden knitting spool with nails hammered into the top. Perhaps it was a gift from an industrious grandfather that loved carpentry and working with wood. If you are younger, you may have been gifted a plastic knitting spool from a big box store. Yarn was a good option with these knitting spools. Simple. Easy to master. And a perfect springboard for a child to learn a creative talent.
Big things have small beginnings. That little knitting spool grew up to be a sophisticated tool. At Soft Flex Company, we carry a beautiful modern version. It is just as simple to pick up and learn as its predecessor. Our knitting spool has a hole in the center that is perfect for guiding the wire and drawing it down as you knit. Our knitting spools come with three different pin options. We have a three pin knitting spool – great for learning the ropes, great for open designs to adorn with beads. We have a four pin design – perfect for adding more wire to your design, perfect for adding beads. We have a five pin design – awesome for wire intensive designs and adding beads. Whatever spool you choose to work with, you will definitely have a head turning finish. The pin selection is more or less a choice on the aesthetics of your design. Do you want a thin design? Go with three pins. If you are interested in a thicker finish – step up to the four or five pin. If money or materials are a factor, stick with the three pins as you will use less wire.
Soft Flex Beading Wire on a Knitting Spool
Drop the yarn. Yarn is wonderful for the beginner or crafty person. But we want to make jewelry! It is time to step up to a different medium that is sophisticated, durable, and full of color options. Soft Flex Beading Wire is the perfect choice. Soft Flex is constructed with braided stainless steel wire. It offers the strength of steel, but has the flexibility of monofilament or a soft beading thread. Soft Flex has the perfect drape for our knitting spools. Any diameter will be a good choice. We personally like to use our medium diameter. Medium is our .019 size. It is the best option for multi-purpose use. Medium can handle the weight of heavy beads and the abrasion of rough beads. Because it is the best wire for every job, it comes in the biggest spectrum of colors.
Now that we have selected our wire, we have more artistic choices to make. Do you want to design a simple bracelet or necklace? Select your favorite color and go. If you want to add a richer color spectrum, you can work with multiple wires on the same piece. If a wire design does not suit you, you can add beads. Add small beads as you go, get creative – Czech Glass, spacers, Swarovski – there is no rule book here. You can also add larger beads as you knit. If your beads do not fit down the tube, you can add them once the design is off the spool and slide them down the design. If you have a large bead with a large channel in the center, you can even slide that over the entire piece before you finish it and have a sliding focal bead or crimp it in place.
We have our design. Now what? Once you have the desired length, it is time to close everything up and get our piece finished! Our favorite way to finish our designs is to bring the wire through a cone and then crimp the end on a clasp. You will need to make sure you have the tools for the job. You will need crimping pliers, crimps, and your preferred clasp. If you want to add an extra bit of personal touch to the piece, you can wire wrap a cone on the end, rather than buying a cone for the job. If you do not like the idea of running the wire through a cone at the end, you can grab some multi-strand clasps and finish the piece that way.
Soft Flex Craft Wire on a Knitting Spool
Craft Wire is just as easy to use as Soft Flex Wire. The method is a little different as the wire is much firmer, but it is just as easy to work with. You will still have the option to work with the Craft Wire by itself or add beads. The rigidity of Craft Wire limits your options as far as gauges. We suggest, as a beginner, you start with a 28 gauge as it is a very fine wire. It is small, but substantial enough to be durable. You can opt for a 26 gauge, but this will be stiffer and less forgiving on the fingers as you work with it. Some people work with 24 gauge, if you opt for this choice, be prepared for a challenge, this gauge is definitely for the seasoned designer or somebody that has some calluses on their fingers, it is very difficult to maneuver and may not drape how you want it to drape. Be careful working with Craft Wire, it is made of copper; it does not have the strength that Soft Flex Wire (stainless steel) does. Working with a delicate wire, like copper, means that the more you work it or pull it, the more it will work harden the wire and make it brittle. Once on the spool, you will need to leave a lot of slack on the wire to make it possible to pull the wire over the pins. Be sure to watch the video below for pointers.
Finishing a Craft Wire design is as simple as finishing a Soft Flex design. Create a wire wrapped cone to make the piece a signature piece or add a purchased cone. Clasp your piece together if it is to be worn around a wrist or you can opt to merge the end pieces under a large focal bead if the design is large enough to fit around a neck without a clasp.
Check out our how-to pages on the three styles of knit we like to work with:
Be sure to check out the video below for a great demonstration!
Join our Facebook group – VIB. Stay in the know. Stay up to date. From our bead shows to our video shows and sales, you can stay in touch with us. The community is full of artistic and helpful beaders and crafty people. Inspire and be inspired. Share your pictures and get the beading bug from others!
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Blog contributor Thomas Soles is the Trade Show Coordinator for Soft Flex Company. His favorite stones are Lapis and Pietersite. His favorite hobby is day dreaming. And his favorite mustache is Tom Selleck's. As you can see, he has a healthy (or possibly unhealthy) sense of humor. You can write to him at Thomas@SoftFlexCompany.com